Fish keep dying!!

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I have been keeping fish for over 45 years and doing this for over 20 years never had a problem. What aquarists do consistently is over analyze things. The best advise is to keep it simple. When we all start out we do what others do or tell us to do. Over time we work things out for ourselves. There are no right or wrong ways of doing things it is what works for you and what you a comfortable with.
But you're advising a beginner to do something with a high potential risk.

If the replacement water is the same temp as the tank water, no potential harm.

"Cold" water added to tank (which might be much colder than the tank, you don't know their source or locality) does come with a risk. If there's a big temp difference, risk of shock and death, and at the very least, stress.

So the simpliest thing for a beginner is to temperature match, to go with the safest course of action that doesn't have the potential to be dangerous.

If your source water is close in temp to your tank and it's a small partial water change, or you're trying to induce spawning in fish, then colder water changes are used, sure. But by people who know what they're doing at that point.
 

Colin_T

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Pictures of the fish?

If there are ammonia issues, then there is a problem with the filter or how you are cleaning it.
What sort of filter do you have?
Is it run continuously 24/7?
How do you clean the filter?
How often do you clean the filter?

What is your water source like?
Are you using mains water, well water, rain water, or something else?
Have you tested your water source for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and GH?
 

BoomerXIV

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Been there, done that..do you have any other tank? If you do, i recommend setting up qt tank, when your fish show a sign of illness, put them in qt tank immediately.
And restraint yourself from buying new fish if another of your fish died. Just take it slowly, do water change frequently (I do once every 2-3 days, and gradually become once per week, and now I do it once per 2 weeks).
Just take it slowly, keep the parameter in check, and don't stress yourself.
If I were you, I'll probably under stock the tank for now, and when I see the remaining fish thriving, then I'll add more.
 
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AmyJade2004

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Thank you all for your advice. I'm going to do a water change and keep doing them over the next few weeks until it gets better.
@AilyNC
Tank size: 110 litres (24 gallons)
pH:
ammonia:
0? tested yesterday at lfs and he said it was good but not sure on value
nitrite:
nitrate:
0? Also tested yesterday but not sure of the actual value
kH:
gH:
tank temp:
25 degrees C, 78 degrees F
I have no idea what the other values are. pH was tested a few months ago at possibly 7.6 but I'll order the API master kit so I can test it. Also not sure on the kH and gH. I get the water from the tap and treat it with water conditioner.

Fish Symptoms (include full description including lesion, color, location, fish behavior): Slow swimming, falling to the floor, not being able to swim straight (spins in circles), rapidly breathing, laying on the sand

Volume and Frequency of water changes: Every 4 weeks, about 15% but I have only done 2 since my lfs said to stop them

Chemical Additives or Media in your tank: Tap water conditioner to any water added, bacteria pearls, about 3 months ago I did a course of anti-fluke & wormer to remove pest snails in my tank (advised from my lfs), a course of anti-white spot & fungus was done about 2 months ago as they were showing symptoms of white spot disease but that cleared within a few days, the recommended dose of aquatic plant food every 2 weeks, the recommended dose of revitaliser tonic about 1 month ago.

Tank inhabitants: 1 cory, 1 zebra pleco, 1 common longfin pleco, 5 swordtails, 3 balloon mollies, 3 endlers, 3 guppies, 4 dwarf gouramis

Recent additions to your tank (living or decoration): 4 dwarf gouramis yesterday, zebra pleco about 1 month ago

Exposure to chemicals: Only the chemicals added which claim to be safe for fish use

@Colin_T I'll attach some photos of the tank and some of the fish but they all look normal. I've got a sponge filter and clean it about every 4 weeks by squeezing it into the water from the tank. It has an air pump attached to it and is on max 24/7. I also have an air stone connected to this air pump which also runs all the time.
I use mains water from the tap and change the temperature to the same temp of the tank each time I add water. I add the recommended dose of tap water conditioner to this before putting it into the tank.

@BoomerXIV I have another 5 litre tank set up but it has 1 betta, 2 female huppies and 1 panda loach in so don't really want to mix these as there's currently no problems with the smaller tank.


Good news: I was looking around the tank double checking for the missing pleco and took apart my sponge filter and the pleco sometimes goes through the middle briefly. Turns out he was hidden (possibly stuck) inside. The filter was only out of the water for about 10 seconds as I was taking it apart so hopefully he will be ok. I have added some revitaliser tonic just to help him but at the moment he is looking happy :)
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BoomerXIV

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Thank you all for your advice. I'm going to do a water change and keep doing them over the next few weeks until it gets better.
@AilyNC
Tank size: 110 litres (24 gallons)
pH:
ammonia:
0? tested yesterday at lfs and he said it was good but not sure on value
nitrite:
nitrate:
0? Also tested yesterday but not sure of the actual value
kH:
gH:
tank temp:
25 degrees C, 78 degrees F
I have no idea what the other values are. pH was tested a few months ago at possibly 7.6 but I'll order the API master kit so I can test it. Also not sure on the kH and gH. I get the water from the tap and treat it with water conditioner.

Fish Symptoms (include full description including lesion, color, location, fish behavior): Slow swimming, falling to the floor, not being able to swim straight (spins in circles), rapidly breathing, laying on the sand

Volume and Frequency of water changes: Every 4 weeks, about 15% but I have only done 2 since my lfs said to stop them

Chemical Additives or Media in your tank: Tap water conditioner to any water added, bacteria pearls, about 3 months ago I did a course of anti-fluke & wormer to remove pest snails in my tank (advised from my lfs), a course of anti-white spot & fungus was done about 2 months ago as they were showing symptoms of white spot disease but that cleared within a few days, the recommended dose of aquatic plant food every 2 weeks, the recommended dose of revitaliser tonic about 1 month ago.

Tank inhabitants: 1 cory, 1 zebra pleco, 1 common longfin pleco, 5 swordtails, 3 balloon mollies, 3 endlers, 3 guppies, 4 dwarf gouramis

Recent additions to your tank (living or decoration): 4 dwarf gouramis yesterday, zebra pleco about 1 month ago

Exposure to chemicals: Only the chemicals added which claim to be safe for fish use

@Colin_T I'll attach some photos of the tank and some of the fish but they all look normal. I've got a sponge filter and clean it about every 4 weeks by squeezing it into the water from the tank. It has an air pump attached to it and is on max 24/7. I also have an air stone connected to this air pump which also runs all the time.
I use mains water from the tap and change the temperature to the same temp of the tank each time I add water. I add the recommended dose of tap water conditioner to this before putting it into the tank.

@BoomerXIV I have another 5 litre tank set up but it has 1 betta, 2 female huppies and 1 panda loach in so don't really want to mix these as there's currently no problems with the smaller tank.


Good news: I was looking around the tank double checking for the missing pleco and took apart my sponge filter and the pleco sometimes goes through the middle briefly. Turns out he was hidden (possibly stuck) inside. The filter was only out of the water for about 10 seconds as I was taking it apart so hopefully he will be ok. I have added some revitaliser tonic just to help him but at the moment he is looking happy :)View attachment 116894View attachment 116895View attachment 116896View attachment 116897View attachment 116898View attachment 116899
Is this a new tank? How long its have been setup?
On a different note, i think your 5g is better for your betta only.
 

AilyNC

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Once the kit comes you'll have a better idea of what's going on. I would stop adding stuff to the water other than dechlorinator. Do large daily changes. Honestly your symptoms abd experience are very same as mine. My cycle crashed and so too much ammonia in the tank. I did 75% daily changes & tested for 12 days, then changes weren't needed as much and now I change once a week. You're cleaning the filter correctly. Others can advice on stocking levels but I had to donate 2 Plecos to a city Aquarium as they grow to 12 inches. I'd double check that common longfin is ok in the tank. If you Google Pleco name + seriouslyfish you can find their info on tank dimensions. I find that website fantastic for stock questions. The first 12 days if daily changes was tough but it saved the fish. It really made a huge difference and now my tank is very stable. I'm still quite new but I had a sharp learning curve and happy to offer any help I can.
 

itiwhetu

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What is natural about this set up. Get back to basics 30-50% in plant take out the ornaments and allow the fish to behave like fish. Don't over think this stuff fish keeping is easy it is about setting up an environment as close to their natural environment as you can
 
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AmyJade2004

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@BoomerXIV the 110 litre tank is a new tank that I got at the start of 2020 so I've had it set up for about 9 months. The 5 gallon tank has been set up since about April and when I got it I had a pregnant female guppy and decided to use the tank to keep the fry but now have 2 female and 2 male guppies from this. I don't want anymore babies so I've kept the two females in the 5g tank with the betta which they seem to be happy with. I got the panda loach to eat the algae in the tank and my lfs advised that he would be the best choice for keeping in there. All of them seem to be happy and get along well together.

@AilyNC thank you for the help, it has been very useful. I'm glad yours is ok now. I couldn't find anything on seriouslyfish on the specific pleco but another website has said that it only grows to 4-5 inches which should be ok in the tank. The kit should come tomorrow so hopefully the water changes will go fine and I can monitor it using that.

@itiwhetu I'm not really sure about taking everything out because would it not have beneficial bacteria on it? Also quite a few fish use the ornaments to hide like the zebra pleco so thanks for the advise but I will keep some in there. I might take out the ones that they don't really need though as I see where you are coming from.
 

AilyNC

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Oh if it's a longfin Bristlenose that grows to size mentioned. I was actually hoping to get a false zebra (Max size 3") & a longfin lemon Bristlenose (Max size 4"-5") too. Absolutely love Plecos
 
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AmyJade2004

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@AilyNC Same they are really interesting and all have different behaviours. My zebra pleco is a 4" so shouldn't grow much the only issue is that he hides all the time but I'm not sure if this is because he is relatively new to the tank so is still getting used to it or if that's just his personality. I also love bettas.
 
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AmyJade2004

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I have done a 60% water change yesterday. The API master test kit has arrived so I've tested my water and nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels are at 0 in both of my tanks but the pH is around 8.2. I never realised that it would be this high for both tanks as I've never had an issue with my smaller tank. Could this be the reason my fish in the 110 litre tank keep dying? I've tested the water that I use from my shower tap and it's at 7.4. Does anyone know how there can be this huge difference and how I can lower it?
 

threecharacters

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I have done a 60% water change yesterday. The API master test kit has arrived so I've tested my water and nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels are at 0 in both of my tanks but the pH is around 8.2. I never realised that it would be this high for both tanks as I've never had an issue with my smaller tank. Could this be the reason my fish in the 110 litre tank keep dying? I've tested the water that I use from my shower tap and it's at 7.4. Does anyone know how there can be this huge difference and how I can lower it?

Was the pH 8.2 after the water change?

What kind of sand or rock do you have in the tank? Minerals can leach from these things into the water causing an increase in pH and hardness above tap water.

IMO the absolute value of pH isn't that important. I have wild caught Apistogramma sp. that have shown courtship behavior in a tank with a pH of 7.6-7.8 while most will tell you that pH is too high for such fish. However, rapid changes in pH can be fatal for fish. Is there anything that you could be adding to the tank, possibly accidentally or in small amounts, that could cause a significant change in pH? For example, I think I've heard that mineral oil, even in relatively small amounts, can cause massive, fatal pH swings.
 
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AmyJade2004

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Was the pH 8.2 after the water change?

What kind of sand or rock do you have in the tank? Minerals can leach from these things into the water causing an increase in pH and hardness above tap water.

IMO the absolute value of pH isn't that important. I have wild caught Apistogramma sp. that have shown courtship behavior in a tank with a pH of 7.6-7.8 while most will tell you that pH is too high for such fish. However, rapid changes in pH can be fatal for fish. Is there anything that you could be adding to the tank, possibly accidentally or in small amounts, that could cause a significant change in pH? For example, I think I've heard that mineral oil, even in relatively small amounts, can cause massive, fatal pH swings.
I'm not sure what the pH was before but the 8.2 was about 24 hours after the water change. It was also 8.2 in my 5g tank and I did about a 15% water change for that last week. I'm not too worried about the pH of the smaller tank as they seem to be fine with it and there has been no changes to how I look after that tank. The 110 litre tank has sand in but I'm not sure on a specific type (picture below).
The fish deaths don't usually happen straight after water changes or after adding anything in. I have a plant fertiliser that I add in every fortnight so not sure if this would affect it. I think the water that I add in has a lower pH (7.4). There could possibly be times when I put my hand in the tank and maybe have something on my skin so I'm not sure if this would change anything but most of the time I do wash my hands beforehand.
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